It’s just a meeting, but it’s something.

Yuba City council members and personnel are planning to meet Dec. 2 for a special workshop to discuss impact fees and growth policies. They’re meeting with the Sutter-Yuba Association of Realtors at 1558 Starr Drive at 4 p.m. They want to encourage more participation by builders and developers.

City officials were to meet Tuesday to gain information and discuss making adjustments to codes and requirements to prompt or assist in residential development along Harter Parkway between Butte House Road and Highway 20. They’re talking about a couple of subdivisions that could add some 150 residential lots, both single-family and multi-family.

The Harter Specific Plan was approved back in 2004. A lot has changed since then. We’ve gone through a major recession and a decade of recovery and seen the virtual abandonment of housing developments. We need homes to be built. But it’s still not worth developers’ while, especially when compared to other housing markets around the Sacramento area.

In the Harter area, commercial development happened some years ago – the Walmart, the Home Depot, Sierra Central Credit Union, other businesses. But housing? Nil.

A developer submitted proposals for two subdivisions – one for 77 residential lots and one commercial lot; another for 73 single-family lots and three multi-family lots.

The company would like some relief for infrastructure – roads, sewer, water – and review of development impact fees.

“Yuba City continues to have one of the highest impact fees in the regional area,” said Tom Tucker of Harter Packing Company, LLC, the developer. “High impact fees along with the current required infrastructure requirements and given the market pricing for new homes does not leave the builder nor the land owners a profit margin worth the risk.”

City leaders noted in their goals for the year that they hoped to become more business friendly. That entails reviewing policies and processes and finding ways to make development of business – and housing – more enticing.

There’s been plenty of talk about making the city more builder friendly. At the same time, it’s recognized there must be logical rules to manage development and public safety and services. Seems like this council is serious about moving ahead.

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